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International Cooperation in the Fight Against Organised Crime.

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Presentation on theme: "International Cooperation in the Fight Against Organised Crime."— Presentation transcript:

1 International Cooperation in the Fight Against Organised Crime

2 Richard Trimble Head of National Freight Intelligence Unit Revenue Commissioners Ireland

3 Central Intelligence & Drugs Enforcement Branch National Freight Intelligence Unit Suspicious Transaction Reports Customs Drugs Law Enforcement National Source Management Unit MTIC Carousel Fraud Customs National Intelligence Database

4 Central Intelligence & Drugs Enforcement Branch National Freight Intelligence Unit Suspicious Transaction Reports Customs Drugs Law Enforcement National Source Management Unit MTIC Carousel Fraud Customs National Intelligence Database

5 2002 Project Targeting consignees in Northern Ireland importing via Southern ports Republic of Ireland Northern Ireland United Kingdom France Dublin Port Felixstowe Belfast Warren Point Rosslare Waterford Cork Foynes Drogheda National Freight Intelligence Unit

6 2 Suspect Containers departed Miami, USA on 21 st February 2002 Various Risk Indicators Consignments failed pre-arrival intelligence checks ETA Dublin Port 17 th March 2002 (National Holiday)

7 The 2 Suspect Containers Transhipped Felixstowe (UK)

8 Profiled for Interception in Dublin Port

9 Found to contain 15.7 million Dorchester cigarettes

10 Follow-up Investigation regarding the Miami/Dublin/Northern Ireland route Identified 7 previous containers Identified 4 subsequent containers (24.3 million SuperKing seized in Dublin Port)

11 Ireland forwarded a request to OLAF under Council Regulation 515/97

12 Austin Rowan Head of Unit Customs II (Task Group Cigarettes) Directorate of Investigations & Operations II European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) European Commission

13 Unit B3: Cigarette smuggling

14 The MIAMI case Countries involved: Ireland, USA, Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Uruguay, Chile, Panama, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Singapore, UAE & Canada

15 Background 6 containers of cigarettes seized by Irish Customs in 2002: –False Bills of Lading –Fraudulent invoices presented to Irish Customs. Request by Irish Authorities to OLAF to coordinate international investigations. Investigations revealed that cigarettes were also smuggled into Germany, France, Spain and Portugal.

16 Routing From the cigarette manufacturer –to Cyprus to Uruguay to Panama to Miami. –to Cyprus to the Netherlands to Miami. From Miami to EU misdescribed as other products.

17 OLAF Investigations and Support Coordination meetings in Brussels with all countries concerned. OLAF missions to Ireland, United Kingdom, France, Spain, USA, Cyprus, Uruguay, the Netherlands. MA Request to Canada – excellent cooperation. OLAF and US ICE Attaché mission to US Department of Justice in August 2005 – Washington DC. Criminal case opened in USA Analysis of evidence. Support for US, German, Spanish and Irish criminal action.

18 The MIAMI investigation led to other seizures and arrests: Intelligence from US ICE led to 2 controlled deliveries in the UK in October 2006. Origin of the cigarettes was China. 10,800,000 pieces seized. Prevented losses approx. 3,000,000. 10 persons arrested. OLAF Investigations and Support

19 Results of intelligence gathered during the investigation: In March 2007 Irish customs seized 7,259,600 British Heritage cigarettes Produced in Gran Canaria shipped to Panama, then to Miami, the Netherlands and Dublin. Declared in Ireland as wood flooring (see US ICE presentation) Approx. 2,500,000 losses prevented. OLAF Investigations and Support




23 In March 2008 HMRC seized 6,000,000 GOLDEN EAGLE cigarettes Shipped from Panama to Miami then to Felixtowe. Approx. 2,500,000 losses prevented. OLAF Investigations and Support




27 Results to date Opening of criminal case in the USA. Opening of a criminal case in Spain. Opening of a criminal case in Germany. The identification of: Illegal cigarette consignments to different European Union countries. Suspect cigarette movements via North and South America. Suspect money transfers to different countries in the world. Illegal consignments of cigarettes that were seized in Ireland, UK and Belgium. Principal arrested and charged in Miami. Total of duties identified as evaded: approximately 100,000,000.

28 Deborah Morrisey Supervisory Special Agent U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) United States of America

29 Operation TOBACCO ROAD Information initially received from the ICE Attaché's Office Brussels, Belgium and assigned to Miami. Cigarettes are legitimately imported into the United States from various ports, including UK and Panama Cigarettes smuggled into the United States from China Organization then smuggles these cigarettes from the United States into various European Countries Proceeds are then diverted back to the respective participants and their criminal organizations. ICE SAC Miami works with numerous EU Countries in an attempt to dismantle the organization.

30 Violations of United States Code 18 USC 554: Smuggling of Goods from the United States 18 USC 1341: Mail Fraud 18 USC 1343: Wire Fraud 18 USC 2: Conspiracy 18 USC 1956: Money Laundering 18 USC 371: Conspiracy

31 Instructions are sent to repack shipment with cover load masking cigarettes Documents are prepared reflecting contents of shipment being cover load. Cover load is purchased and moved to warehouse. Enter Bonded Warehouse as Cigarettes Container of Cigarettes are shipped to Miami from foreign Real manifest is sent to recipient reflecting what is actually in container The Scheme Duty is paid on value of cover load. Delivery made. Shipment Sent to destination port.

32 Warehouse Receipts

33 Loading Instructions

34 Bill of Lading

35 Cynthia Stone Chief of Organized Crime Section U.S. Attorneys Office, Southern District of Florida U.S. Department of Justice United States of America

36 The Indictment


38 The Judgment


40 CUTLER BAY RESIDENT PLEADS GUILTY TO SMUGGLING Admits to Smuggling More than 27 Million Cigarettes out of the United States Jeffrey H. Sloman, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Anthony V. Mangione, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Office of Investigations, Miami Field Office, announce that Roman Vidal has pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire and mail fraud in connection with the smuggling of cigarettes out of the United States and into various European Union countries in order to avoid paying more than $6.5 million in customs and tax duties. Sentencing has been set for November 10, 2009 before the Honorable Alan S. Gold. According to court documents and statements made in court today, [X] conspired with individuals located in Miami and in Spain, Great Britain, Ireland and Germany, to smuggle cigarettes from the Port of Miami into Aachen, Germany, Dublin, Ireland, and Felixstowe, Great Britain. To execute the scheme, [X], who ran the Miami portion of the operation, arranged for the purchase of hundreds of cases of cigarettes from Panama and the transportation of those cigarettes into the Port of Miami. He then arranged for the purchase of other cargo, such as yarn, wood flooring and building insulation material, to be used as cover loads to conceal the cigarettes. Roman Vidal directed the preparation of false bills of lading that only declared the cover load materials. These bills of lading were presented to the shipping companies and overseas customs services. Custom duties and taxes were based only on the falsely declared cargo and thus, no duties or taxes were paid on the cigarettes. On four separate occasions from December 2001 through April 2008, Roman Vidal smuggled 2,702 master cases of cigarettes - totaling more than 27 million individual cigarettes - out of the Port of Miami. Based upon the false bills of lading, only a few thousand dollars of custom duties and taxes were paid on each shipment. The true custom duties and taxes that should have been paid on these shipments totaled over $6.5 million dollars. Acting U.S. Attorney Jeffrey H. Sloman commended the investigative efforts of the ICE special agents as well as agents from various law enforcement agencies in Ireland, Great Britain, Spain and Germany involved in this case. In addition, Mr. Sloman thanked the European Union Anti-Fraud Office based in Brussels, Belgium, for their outstanding contribution to the investigation. Additional commendation was extended to Lincoln Jalelian, former Trial Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, Organized Crime and Racketeering Section, for his significant contribution to the case. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia Stone. Press Release by United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.


42 Thank you

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